Dance Gavin Dance has been a band with a rotating lineup of singers throughout its history but upon finding their current singer, the band has stayed with the vocalist ever since. However, even with finding a permanent vocalist in Tillian Pearson, who has been featured on the band’s Punk Goes Pop cover, Dance Gavin Dance has since decided to release each of their albums as instrumentals as well with Rise Records, which has also been home for many bands like Knuckle Puck and Like Moths to Flames, which is something I’ve always appreciated with a band, as many other fans have as well. Below we’ve ranked all of the Dance Gavin Dance instrumental albums, as well as went into a bit of a dive on each record.
9. Dance Gavin Dance
While all Dance Gavin Dance albums are technical in their own way, “Dance Gavin Dance”, the band’s self-titled album was some of the earliest experimentation with technical elements as seen with songs such as “Rock Solid”, which provided some of the weirdest material to date for the band but the song ended up being more than a fan favorite. Unlike “Downtown Battle Mountain”, Dance Gavin Dance sounded more like an independent album without vocals attached to it.
8. Downtown Battle Mountain II
“Downtown Battle Mountain II” was the return of Jonny Craig, Dance Gavin Dance’s original vocalist, to the band and while initially hearing that the band was releasing a second album with Jonny Craig may have been a thrill, the instrumental version felt even more empty without vocals than the original “Downtown Battle Mountain”.
“Happiness” always had a large spotlight on it, due to being the first consecutive release from Dance Gavin Dance without original vocalist Jonny Craig but also their second and final with vocalist Kurt Travis. Overall, “Happiness” was one of the most solid Dance Gavin Dance albums but it was more monumental for the band’s career than anything else as it brought a new form of experimentation to the band.
6. Downtown Battle Mountain
While “Downtown Battle Mountain” was a very interesting album, especially upon its original release but without vocals, the album still sounded like it was made accompanied by Jonny Craig’s vocals, which overall made the instrumental feel empty over a feeling of a true instrumental.
5. Acceptance Speech
“Acceptance Speech” was possibly the most interesting among the instrumental albums released from Dance Gavin Dance as it wasn’t released as promptly as the other instrumentals as the band had recorded “Acceptance Speech 2.0”, which already separated the original “Acceptance Speech” from another. When Dance Gavin Dance originally released “Acceptance Speech”, it was produced by Mark Malpass but as every full-length from Dance Gavin Dance has been produced by Kris Crummett, they went to the producer for a remaster and released it alongside the instrumental version of the album, which started the Dance Gavin Dance instrumental album trend.
4. Instant Gratification
“Instant Gratification” held a similar overall tone with “Artificial Selection” but as “Instant Gratification” came first with the band’s 10th anniversary, the album held a very specific tone that carried like all previous work from Dance Gavin Dance. The album was a prime example of when a band should release an instrumental version of an album as “Instant Gratification” had several guitarists on the album in order to replace a band member and get the album finished, thus marking a legitimate reason to enjoy an entirely instrumental album.
3. Artificial Selection
“Artificial Selection” had some of the most well-worked and smoother guitar parts of any Dance Gavin Dance album but the overall lack of true experimentation left this Dance Gavin Dance instrumental album feeling a little bit empty but still a very solid instrumental presentation was somewhat reminiscent of older Dance Gavin Dance. Overall, with “Artificial Selection” ranking higher than all but one album released before it, it showed that fans of Dance Gavin Dance enjoy the current saga of the band the most.
Although “Afterburner” was the youngest album at the time of this writing, Dance Gavin Dance have announced that they are currently working on their next full-length and since the band has had such consistency with their music, each new album may be more favored by fans than the last, instrumental or not.
“Mothership” was the third to last release from Dance Gavin Dance, which also made it their third most recent instrumental release as well. Now that Dance Gavin Dance releases the instrumental versions of albums alongside the original now, fans can dive deeper into the albums right off the bat. Overall, as “Mothership” was a bit dated compared to the other top 3 placements on our Dance Gavin Dance ranked list, it showed proof of consistency may be what fans want but in what could be considered a beginning of a trilogy with “Mothership”, who knows what the next Dance Gavin Dance record could sound like.